Watch Dogs Wii U and initial release delays explained by Ubisoft

By Stephany Nunneley
6 March 2014 17:54 GMT

Watch Dogs on Wii U may be releasing later than the other SKUs, but that doesn’t mean the delay bodes ill for Nintendo fans.


The Wii U delay

Speaking with Polygon, senior producer Dominic Guay said the Wii U version is “on hold, to a certain extent for shipping,” and that a 2014 release is still possible; plus it’s not in development at Ubisoft Montreal, but at Ubisoft Romania.

“We don’t have a specific ship date for it yet so it’s considered within the year,” he said. “So we’re going to look at that and we’re going to let people know as soon as we figure out an exact date for it.

“We have our studio in Bucharest working on it, and we wanted that team to have the time to explore the GamePad and be able to have fun with it and see how far they could push it. It’s also an interesting platform, because it has its own strength, which we want to take advantage of, and we didn’t want to delay all the other platforms for that one.

“We’re going to take the time we need to make sure the game is good technically and design-wise, and makes good use of the specifics of the Wii U.”

“So we’re going to take the time we need to make sure the game is good (technically) when we ship it and that it also, game design-wise, makes good use of the specifics of the Wii U.”

Guay added the Bucharest studio has “super strong engineers” and it had to work on making the game engine run on Wii U.

“It wasn’t running on Wii U initially,” he said. “They were the perfect team to do it. Our Bucharest studio is super strong, super strong engineers and I was impressed by how quickly they got to get the game running on the console. And they were so autonomous in doing it. Obviously we’re communicating and we’re working together, but they were so quick and smart in doing it, it still made sense for them to keep ownership.

“Obviously they’re using the same game content, so they’re not building other game content. It’s the same game content that we’ll adapt for the needs of the specific needs of Wii U. But at the core, same game, but they made all the technical adjustments for it.”

The initial delay on all formats

Watch Dogs was originally set to release last year to coincide with the release of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One; however, four weeks before its November 19 release, Ubisoft announced it has been delayed into 2014.

Speaking to Eurogamer, creative director Jonathan Morin said while the game would have been “pretty good” and “fun to play” at the time, “important details” were missing – thus, the game was delayed.

“A complicated game that is broken is no more acceptable than an easier one that works.”

“When you’re promising a player that they can hack everything and express themselves, they expect the result to be there,” he said. “A complicated game that is broken is no more acceptable than an easier one that works.”

Morin said a meeting with the higher ups at Ubisoft pointing out what the game needed more time gave the team the confidence to prolong development, with company boss Yves Guillemot making the final call.

“The person who had to have balls is Yves,” Morin said. “He’s the boss so he had to have the courage to say to the stockholders: ‘We think it’s best to do this’. I didn’t have to go to Yves and say ‘I need you to spend more money on Watch Dogs!’ Ubisoft isn’t that kind of company.

“I have to give credit to him. I don’t know many people who would have said that based on systemic gameplay stuff. A lot of people would have said ‘who cares? who will find that? nine players out of 10 won’t get there!’ even if it wasn’t true just to get the game made faster.”

Morin also touched upon the Wii U version with Eurogamer, confirming that once other versions are finished, “then Wii U can get back into place.”

Watch Dogs releases worldwide on May 27 for PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

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